Snow Crystal Analysis as a Method of Indirect Aerology

  1. Helmut Weickmann
  1. Johannes Grunow

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM005p0130

Physics of Precipitation: Proceedings of the Cloud Physics Conference, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, June 3-5, 1959

Physics of Precipitation: Proceedings of the Cloud Physics Conference, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, June 3-5, 1959

How to Cite

Grunow, J. (1960) Snow Crystal Analysis as a Method of Indirect Aerology, in Physics of Precipitation: Proceedings of the Cloud Physics Conference, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, June 3-5, 1959 (ed H. Weickmann), American Geophysical Union, Washington D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM005p0130

Author Information

  1. Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1960

Book Series:

  1. Geophysical Monograph Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Waldo E. Smith

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900056

Online ISBN: 9781118668931

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Keywords:

  • Crystals dimensions;
  • Dimension of cloud droplets;
  • Frequency analysis;
  • Qualitative analysis;
  • Quantitative analysis;
  • Snow crystal analysis

Summary

Observations of form and size of snow crystals, whose conditions of growth are widely known from laboratory investigations, were compared with the synoptic situation. The qualitative analysis obtained by a general survey of all forms appearing at the same time imparts an insight to the structure of the atmospheric layers in their temporal and spatial succession. A quantitative analysis is developed to derive the thickness of layers and to reconstruct cross sections of temperature and state of saturation, based on rates of fall and rates of growth as known from laboratory investigations. The results show satisfying agreement with the cross sections derived from aerological soundings for layers up to −20°C. From measurement of numerous shadow photos, it was possible to derive frequency-sections and spectra of the distribution of sizes for some crystal forms that permit statements concerning the structure of the precipitating cloud system. From evaluation of water droplets attached to snow crystals, spectra of the diameters of droplets for different air masses were derived. Even simple observations of snow crystals from different altitudes made by the visual method show characteristic differences of form and size of the crystals. Thus the suitability of the snow crystals as aerological sonde is confirmed by many single manipulations.